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Group G is a go. Starting today, the world will see the four best teams in the tournament go head to head in the most heated group in the history of the game.

Or at least that’s what we’d have you think.

As Americans, we tell ourselves that we’re good at a lot of things. One of them is football. But not the right kind for this tournament. What are we good at? Catchphrases. Any time there’s a question that we just can’t solve through pure reason, we have Hollywood to fall back on. It’s a beautiful form of deflection that we’ve worked on for the decades that our country’s been around.

So here are some ideas on how to respond when people tell you, my fellow American, that there’s no hope for the US team.


The chances of Germany and Portugal not making it to the next round are pretty slim. The name Nate Silver may ring a bell. He became super popular in 2012, when he predicted that the McRib would come back to McDonalds, plus some other pretty cool political stuff. You can see his team’s predictions at the now ESPN-owned They give the USMNT (at the time of this writing) a bearish 33.7% chance of advancing to the next stage.

With Christiano Ronaldo deeming himself fit to play a, I’d reduce that to about 20% based on my years of making up statistics out of thin air.


Ghana has ceremoniously kicked the USA out of the last two world cups one way or another. They’re our kryptonite.


Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and do what Sean Connery said. Sure, that last one was a Scot playing an Englishman with a Welsh accent, but you get the point.

I’m obviously avoiding using any quotes from Inglorious Basterds, because as great of a film as it was, I don’t want to promote killing Germans for fun.

Me, I’m more of a meditative type. I’ll say something to the effect of, “Hey, they just need to stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”

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About Captain Hatch

A typically ignorant, selfish American. Initially reluctant to get into football, Captain Hatch was eventually convinced that his only path to salvation was on the pitch.